Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Gate Opening Sequence

Episode 4 of season 1 of Namaste Yoga is the Gate Opening sequence and is the focus of this week's practice on the Namaste Yoga Journey. Heather Gregory, an avid Namaste yogini, has written a beautiful narrative of her experience with this sequence. You can find it on the Namaste Yoga blog.

And may the peace of the Lord be always with you.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Firebird Sequence

This Namaste Yoga Journey sequence for this week (starting January 23) is episode 3 of season 1, the Firebird sequence. To be perfectly honest, I'm not a big fan of this sequence because it has a much faster pacing than some of the other sequences. I'm assuming that the pacing is deliberate and is intended to create heat within the body, which could be especially beneficial during these cold winter months. I prefer my yoga practice to be cooling and calming, but that's just me. Here's a preview of the Firebird sequence. If you haven't already purchased your Namaste Yoga DVDs, you can find them here.

And may the peace of the Lord be always with you.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

My Rule of Life

A week or so ago I updated the menu bar across the top of this blog to include a page titled "My Rule of Life." This is something that I've been thinking about and praying about for a year or two, but I've never blogged about it before. I don't know where my interest originated. It may have started when I first began reading Saint John of the Cross and other Carmelite authors. I think that's when my interest and curiosity in religious orders began. I began to research the different types of religious orders and what their lives are like. What do they do to devote themselves to God? What vows do they take? Why? How does this affect their daily lives? 

Obviously I don't intend to take vows and join a religious order, because I live very much "in the world" with a husband and a family to care for. But that doesn't mean that I can't follow their example in the way I live my life. So that's when my search began, the search to find a Rule of Life that I felt I could really live. There were many elements to choose from. Poverty. Charity. Celibacy. Silence. Ceaseless prayer. Fasting. There are so many more and they are so many expressions of these. But I just couldn't find the right combination. None of them spoke to me. None of them called out to me. So after giving it a lot of thought and prayer, I decided to write my own, personal Rule. And here it is. Love God. Love Others. Love yourself. 

There is a phrase out there that says you should live in JOY (Jesus first, Others second, Yourself last). And while this is an okay sentiment, to me it implies that I would have to put myself last. In a world where my obligations often leave me stretched completely thin and exhausted, I can't afford to put myself last. I can't take care of other people if I'm not taking care of myself. I have to love myself and take care of myself in order to keep myself physically, psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually healthy. But I still want my focus to be on serving God and serving others. 

I'm still working on refining the details of my Rule, but I think I'm off to a good start.

And may the peace of the Lord be always with you.

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Sun Moon Sequence

The second week of the Namaste Yoga Journey is the Sun Moon sequence, featured in episode 2 of season 1 of the Namaste Yoga by Kate Potter series. Here's a sneak peek of this week's practice.

And may the peace of the Lord be always with you.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Exalted Warrior Sequence

Kate Potter's "Exalted Warrior" sequence is a standing series focused on moving through various warrior and triangle poses. This is a basic standing series with beginner/intermediate level of difficulty. The full episode, along with the others, is available on DVD for purchase.

Here's what the Namaste Yoga bloggers have to say about the sequence:

Beginners: As you learn the sequence, focus on how the movements feel, not on how they look. The body will begin to move where the breath will afford to take you and no further. The breath body link is called Heart opening and will help develop strength in muscles we do not typically use - can you feel the tension in your ankles and hip rotators? Be sure to keep your feet parallel to one another. On the inhale breath focus on the expansion in the chest. On the exhale focus on the contraction, your chin tucked in slightly to elongate your spine.

Advanced: Focus on applying the bandhas on the exhale, allowing yourself to deepen into each pose. On the inhale focus on a long waist and a lifted chest, feeling your energy rising up. Gently guide your mind back to your practice if it wanders. The breath body link is called heart opening link. Once you are comfortable opening and closing your arms with breath, begin to focus on your energy. When you inhale extend energy out from your core, letting your tension leave. When you exhale return your hands to heart's center with fresh energy. Feel revitalized and open, ready to begin again.

And may the peace of the Lord be always with you.

Namaste Yoga

The Namaste Yoga Journey. I'm doing it. Are you? Click here for details. 

And may the peace of the Lord be always with you.